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Utilisation and stabilisation of by-products from cod species

Contract number : QLK1-2000-01017
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : € 2.590.169
EC contribution : € 1.561.549
Starting date : 01/12/2000
Duration : 36 Months
Scientific Officer : Sigurdur Bogason
Project website :
Dr Turid Rustad
Norwegian University of Sciences and Technology
Department of Biotechnology
Sem Sælands Vei 6/8
7491 Trondheim
Tel.: +47 73 594066
Fax: +47 73 59 3337
E-mail: Turid.Rustad @

By-products from cod species will be studied with the aim of increasing their utilisation to produce value added food ingredients. Work will focus on fat and protein fractions (liver, viscera, heads, skins and cut-offs). Increasing the proportion of fish catch used for human consumption will increase profitability, reduce waste and reduce pressure on overfishing. The project will aim to develop systems to sort, handle and store by-products on board vessels, find safe and effective preservation methods and develop well-functioning logistics. Chemical composition of the by-products will be characterised regarding species, seasonal and habitat variation. Processing methods to extract biomolecules with application in food, feed and pharmaceuticals will be studied and optimised. Finally the market for these compounds will be assessed.


The main objective of this work is to increase the utilisation of by-products from cod species to produce value added food ingredients. This project will focus on the following species of gadidae/cod: cod (Gadus morhua), saithe (Gadus virens), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus), tusk (Brosme brosme), ling (Molva molva).

This will be done by technology development onboard vessels to produce, handle and store by-products. The technology development will be made to ensure that the by-products are in a condition suitable for subsequent production of value-added isolates for food, pharmaceutical and other purposes. The work will focus on the fat and protein fractions mainly from liver, viscera, heads, skin and cut-offs from cod species.

Scientific and technological objectives:

  • Develop value added food ingredients from by-products from cod species
  • Develop systems to recognise and separate different fractions
  • Characterise the chemical composition of different by-products
  • Develop suitable methods for preserving the different fractions
  • Develop methods to extract the interesting fractions/biomolecules.
  • Where appropriate to develop the capacity to do all of the above on board vessels to optimise quantity and quality of high value added by-products
  • Review the market potential for the selected by-products.
(expected) Results and achievements
  • High value added products from by-products
  • Characterisation of the chemical composition of the selected by-products including variations on the basis of season, habitat, individual and species.
  • Develop an overview of new applications for the components from by-products in foods, healthcare products, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
  • Increased knowledge about the market potential for the selected by-products by contact with potential industrial users
  • Evaluation of which by-product operation that can practically be done on board the vessel and which can be on-shore - logistics.
  • Find suitable equipment and machinery for handling the by-products.
  • Build knowledge about the physical behaviour of the selected by-products
  • Build knowledge about new technology for extraction and preservation by evaluating different processes with special focus on product stability, practicable and economic factors

Application of the knowledge gained in this project has three distinct phases. Gaining more scientific knowledge about the chemical composition and the stability of the by-products, especially the protein and lipid fractions with a view to extend the utilisation of the by-products. The project will look at extending the utility of fish collagen and gelatine as a substitute for mammalian gelatine and collagen. The project will also look at methods to extract and take care of the nutritionally valuable fish lipids. The knowledge gained in phase one will be used to find safe and effective preservation and storage methods. Further research will look at an extended range of by-products, which the research in phase one has shown is there in commercial quantities.


SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture
Gryta 2, Brattora
7465 Trondheim
Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories
Skulagata 4
PO Box 1405
101 Reykjavík
Department of Food Science, Food Technology & Nutrition
University College Cork
Western Road
PO Box
Novozymes A/S
Krogshøjvej 36
2880 Bagværd
Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research
Haringkade 1
PO Box 68
1970 AB IJmuiden
The Netherlands
Laboratoire Biochimie et Molécules Marines
Département Valorisation des Produits
IFREMER centre de Nantes
Rue de l'Ile d' Yeu
BP 21105
44311 Nantes Cedex 3

Fifth Framework Programme

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